BJJ Instructor Reviews?????

I often see and enjoy reading reviews of jiu-jitsu instructional videos. Is it appropriate to post reviews of jiu-jitsu instructors?

For example, does anyone train (or has trained in the past) any of these instructors and/or make a comparison between them? fyi, these are just a handful of examples and have heard excellent things about each!

  1. Roy Harris
  2. Saulo Ribeiro
  3. Caique
  4. Rey Diogo
  5. Chris Hauter/Tom Oberhue

I haven't trained with too many over the years, but I think the phrase 'quality' over 'quantity' applies here.

Klay Pittman: Machado BB and badass competitor. Klay is very serious and dedicated to teaching BJJ, but recognizes that not every student is in the art for the sport. He has the ability to bring out the 'competitor' in every student no matter what their physical attributes are or aren't. He is extremely 'technical' in his instruction and takes lots of time to make sure you have the technique down and fully understand it. His game is amazing. I tapped to him about 6 times inside of 6 minutes!

Robert Defranco: Machado BB. Robert is lots of fun to train with! He has a very laid back attitude, but the training is awesome! Always open to questions and extremely thorough with the information he gives. But at times can be a bit harsh on my friend Marco! LOL

Raphael Lovato Sr: Machado BB. Mr Lovato is fantastic. Class is always a lot of fun and will get your cardio going fast! To be honest, I had heard lots of stories about him and not all were positive, but I like to find things out for myself. After meeting Lovato Jr, I was seriously impressed by his humble and open attitude, so I decided to give his academy a try. Mr Lovato is a highly dedicated teacher/trainer. He keeps the atmosphere relaxed enough that you can enjoy every minute of the class even when you are getting tapped out! I do that lot! LOL

Carlos Machado: What can I say that hasn't been said about the man. Simply Amazing! I personally don't think there is a better teacher of BJJ on the planet! Just look at the amazing track record of his students. Not to mention the fact that for about a decade Carlos was the "man to beat" in Brazil. The way I see it, Chuck Norris has enough money and pull to choose ANYBODY as a teacher to oversee his development in BJJ...but he chose Carlos!

Rigan Machado: One word...CRUSHING! I have never been squished that hard in my life! Rigan is also a lot of fun to train with and can get his point across pretty easily. I enjoyed the tremendous amount of detail he went into with every technique.

Although he doesn't teach his own class, forum member Rodney Poldrack does fill in for Robert Defranco quite a bit and will roll with and coach anybody that asks (except maybe Marco...). The times I have rolled with him, he was nice enough to just take it easy enough on me to make me work a bit before submitting me. When he finally does start his own school (hint hint) I am sure he will be very successful at it!

Finally, my first coach and close friend Jerry Smith, taught me from the ground up. I consider him to be the best training partner I have ever had. A humble guy but an absolute terror on the mat!

Fullblast...does Robert Defranco have a brother that trains with you names John Defranco?

Two guys who I have trained with privately who impress the hell outta me. . .

Well by far the best teachers I have met are Brad Jackson and Shawn Williams. Brad is under Ralph and teaches in Placentia ( and Shawn is under Renzo and teaches in Redondo Beach. Oh yeah, Marco Nascimento is really really good too with all this details. He teaches in the bay area, city of San Carlos.

Rick Minter... Black Belt from Rigan Machado. Martial Arts for probably more than 30 years. He was the 4th American to receive a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has trained BJJ since 1986 and studied under more Gracies than any other American.

He is a great teacher and mentor. Incredibly detailed. He does not hold back on the number of techniques he will teach. He is interested in being a good instructor and having a good reputation for building good fighters, not about the money. Best of all... he teaches you HIS stuff... the little details that he has picked up over the years. Things you won't get from most other people. He teaches these things in regular classes, not just private lessons.

Multiple time PAN-AM winner, a couple of black belts in different types of Karate, taught professional boxing for maybe 20 years, also certified JKD under Dan Inosanto. He's a great guy, patient, but will push you to succeed.

jigsaw, that is one instructor I've never heard of

I have to agree with Greenwhale, Shawn Williams by far has been my favorite instructor. Renzos Loss was Cali's gain when Shawn moved out there. Anyone not training with him is crazy.


yeah, he had to take a bit of time away from MA because he was teaching seminars in different places in the country and almost moved to Alabama to start up a gym. However, when he came back, wife left him, divorce, etc... That kind of $#!T can mess anyone up bad. So, he was kind of out of it for a few years after that. He's trying to get back on his feet, he's teaching BJJ at a Hapkido/Kickboxing school with a friend of his, and he also teaches privates.

Wagnney Fabiano, his game is so diverse, probably one of the best at teaching how to set up a position, and how to negate an opponents guard. Inspirational instructor who pushes you too your limits without being a drill sargent. He teaches how to win better then any coach I have ever had in any sport.

Mark Bocek, amazing communicator, shows everything smoothly, and makes Jiu-Jitsu a lot of fun. The clarity with which he shows positions, and then breaks them down makes it easy to pick up. An increduibly attentive instructor who makes sure that every student has the technique down before moving on.

Leo Santos, amazing guard sweeps, amazing combinations. He teaches Jiu-jitus in a way that all the moves make sense, and the combinations work off each other. His instruction is so clear that a student of any level can understand it and do it. He is like an encyclopedia of the art.

WOW,jigsaw,I got to train with him a couple of times,hes old school for sure.Minter open my eyes to alot of moves.

BJJLADY, yeah, I train with him up to six days a week. And not just BJJ, also a little stand up on the weekends. We're starting up MMA/NHB training today, hopefully, if all goes as planned. How long ago did you study with him? Maybe I can mention your name to him, if you'd like... to see if he remembers you. I'm sure he does, he's always talking about students of his from way back till even recent times

Interesting how guys you've never heard of often times are some of the best instructors out there!


I haven't seen Rick Minter in awhile. Do you have his contact info? Great guy, very friendly and humble, and superb technical jiu-jitsu. Where's the Hapkido/Kickboxing school? Thanks.

Yes, I train with Roy Harris. He is one of the most giving instructors I've ever met in ANY martial art.

I wasn't always under Roy--I trained some BJJ from a couple local instructors in high school and college. I've also done other martial arts since I was 6. When I met Roy in the summer of 2002 I was blown away by his ability to articulate difficult concepts on a very detailed level. I was also struck by the high level of technical understanding that his students all had. I started training with him that very summer, and he continues to impress me all the time.

I wrote a review of his seminar in Vermont last year that goes in-depth on the kind of instructor he is, on and off the mat. It's on his website ( He is one of the most genuine people I know, and I recommend him without reservation.


Cdog, yes, I believe that is Robert's brothers name

Actually, his cellphone just got messed up and he had it disconnected. But he teaches BJJ Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30pm, 7:30pm. 6:30pm, 12:00pm respectively.

The Hapkido/Kickboxing School....

The phone number there is for the gym. Only Mike Lee will answer, but we will all be there during the BJJ times. I will be seeing him tomorrow (Monday), if you'd like I can mention your name and number to him. You can email me if you want. If not, that's fine.

great information....ttt

What about JJ Machado???He is a grappling genious and teaches 99% of his classes...

Cesar Gracie is one of the best Instructor's out there! he will take your Jiu Jitsu game to a whole new level!